An exhibition by Ann Bates
Words: Ann Bates
Images: Barry Thomas
I am a ceramicist living and working in Matlock, Derbyshire and have been offered the opportunity to exhibit my work at Buxton Museum and Art Gallery from 23 July to 8 October 2022. Briefly, the exhibition 'ECHOES: reverberations across millennia', will aim to show a connection between Neolithic and modern-day practices of honouring the dead.
In Neolithic times, five thousand years ago, barrows were built to honour the dead. These stone monuments were used as tombs where the remains of individuals could be placed. The revival of barrow building in the second decade of 21st century is providing meaningful, monumental places for people to come together to remember loved ones. The first to be built was The Long Barrow in Wiltshire; inside this monument are chambers with niches where funerary urns containing cremated remains can be placed.
I specialise in making hand-built ceramic funerary urns formed in the same way that our ancestors would have done using the coiling method of making. The urns for the exhibition will be decorated with marks using tools that would have been available in Neolithic times such as Antler shards, pointed sticks and bone. However, they are not intended as replicas, but rather an interpretation for the 21st century as are the modern-day barrows.